Posts Tagged ‘love’

I.

When you receive a broken gift
Do not ask for the receipt
Do not look for the warranty
Or the exchange policy
And whatever you do,
Do not try to fix it.

For our first anniversary
You gave me an antique pocket watch
The face was cracked
And the hands didn’t move
They just kind of shook

It was embroidered with a silver lining
And when I opened it up,
It was engraved with the words, “Until the end of time.”

You said you were sorry
The engraver took longer than expected
And there just wasn’t enough time to fix it

I wanted to say that even a broken watch
Is right twice a day
I wanted to say that it will remind me
Of our moments together when time stands still
All I said was, “I love it.”

I still carry it with me
And I still forget the time’s not set
So about once a week,
I’m either very early or extremely late for something

II.

When you first told me you were broken
Your face was cracked
And tears formed out of the canyons of your eyes
Said, “Body don’t work like it should.”
Said, “Body be enemy.
Body be sick.”

You said you were sorry
Time won’t look
Like the dreams we passed to each other in letters
Like the future postcards we forgot to send

I wanted to tell you
You were the only dream
That’s ever kept me awake at night
I wanted to tell you
All I ever wanted out of time was you
All I said was, “I love you.”

You were never broken.
It was time that broke.

So when we said our vows,
We knew what they meant.
In sickness and in health
Wrapped around our ring fingers

And when we said our vows,
We knew there would be nights like these
Sleepless nights
Tracing paths around the parking lot
Until the pain passes
Lying on bathroom floors
Your hands didn’t move
They just kind of shook

You were brave
I was scared
So I held you
Wiped the hair from your face
And I called you a “badass”

We laughed because the only other option was crying

We rode clouds laced with silver lining
Tattooed engravings of forever on our souls
Slid down hourglass sands and called it “the beach”
We received time like a borrowed, broken present
Because, at any moment, time was all we had
Time and each other

So we take time
And grasp it in our hands each day
Then, careful not to stare at it too long
We place it back in our pockets
Reach out for each other’s hands
And walk

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I was cleaning up a bit today, and I got my first inkling that winter is about here, which sent my musical senses into a code red… and green.  Yep, that’s right.  It’s officially time for me to be in Christmas music lock-down mode.

For some reason, I tend to beat the rush when it comes to Christmas music.  I always bust it out well before Thanksgiving (sometimes even in October), and I think I do this for a couple reasons.

1.) Right now, I have roughly 15 hours of Christmas music on my iTunes.  I don’t know how this happened. I just chalk it up to the magic of Christmas.  But since I have such an excess, I feel guilty if I don’t divulge into this music for more than one month.

2.) Christmas music is generally happy, and I’d like to think that I’m generally happy, so it mixes well.

3.) If I beat everyone else in my Christmas spirit, I feel like a trend-setter.

So for these reasons, I humbly lower my musical tastes for the next few months and bid farewell to those quality bands like Mumford and Sons, Freelance Whales, and Horse Feathers that I was just beginning to like (check them out if you haven’t heard them before!).  I’ll hear them next year, I suppose, but for now I am on a musical mission that ends in childbirth (aka Christmas).

So to get to the actual point of this post, one of my favorite Christmas songs is one that catches even myself off guard.  It isn’t a traditional Christmas hymn, nor is it a silly children’s melody.  It isn’t even by an old school crooner like Bing or Nat King Cole.  It’s actually a beautiful melody by a self-proclaimed agnostic.

Have you ever heard “The Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews?  Even huge fans of Dave Matthews raise their eyebrows when I tell them about this song, which is probably his most under-rated.  In this song, Dave beautifully recounts the birth, life, and death of Christ surrounded by a central theme… love.  I find it pretty incredible that an agnostic can write such a worshipful piece of art and catch the message of the Gospel better than many in the Church.

As we set our hearts towards this season, which I know can be stressful, crazy, and (I dare say) materialistic, I think it would do justice to be reminded what this season is really all about.  And it’s not about getting or giving presents,  it’s not about family, and it’s not even about figgy pudding.  It’s about Christ.  It’s about God becoming a human, which is one of the most miraculous events the world has ever known.

So here’s what I’d love for you to do. Below is a video of the song. Listen to it, read the lyrics I posted below, and enjoy the love.

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend
She’d be his wife and make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love
While he lay in the hay
Shower him with love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried
Always out on his own
He met another Mary who for a reasonable fee,
less than reputable was known to be.

His heart full of love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree
Said “oh, Daddy-o, I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I’ve spilled the blood of our children all around”

The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children’s all around

So I’m told, so the story goes
The people he knew were
Less than golden hearted
Gamblers and Robbers
Drinkers and Jokers, all soul searchers
Like you and me
Like you and me

Rumors insisted he soon would be
For his deviations
Taken into custody
By the authorities less informed than he.
Drinkers and Jokers all soul searchers
Searching for love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Preparations were made
For his celebration day
He said “eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children’s all around
The blood of our children all around

Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill
Me up with love, love, love
Love love love
Love love was all around
Father up above, why in all this hatred do you fill
Me up with love, fill me love love love
Love love love
all you need is love
you can’t buy me love
Love love love
Love love
And the blood of our children’s all around

“October”

Posted: 10/22/2010 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This is a sonnet I wrote a few years ago.  It’s pretty much the only sonnet I’ve ever written, but I thought that since the days are getting colder, leaves are falling, and it is actually October, this might be appropriate.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

October brings a sudden shift of change
as trees begin to hide from winter winds
The leaves their colors alter, rearrange.
A season plaguing death and love begins.

For passion moves in orange, brown and red,
Like fire burning flames upon the tops.
In breeze they dance a dance to touch the dead
And separate from limbs. They leap to drop.

Descend in brilliant flutters, twists and turns
to free the soul and lift a final cry
And lay in silence. All around you burns
to melt and mend as one. As one you die.

The season soon will turn to winter, spring.
From death in love, a life anew will bring.

I wrote this poem in response to the oil spill in the gulf. Often we look at legacy’s as memories or some spiritual connection, but what if a legacy is more? What if the footprints we make on this earth are physical and tangible? What if we are actually held accountable for the trash we make and the damage we do? And will this be how future generations will see us???

The earth is scarred with the stains of the way I live
Because I take from her more than I give
And I give her back the trash I make

I’ve been raping my mother for comfort’s sake

And it’s not just my soul, but the future’s at stake.

So what price does the future have to pay
For our day to day?
When the footprints we make
Aren’t so easily washed away

They already need a pretty big tide
To wipe away our pride
To wipe away my pride
Because I walk with the swagger and stride
Of a man in the light
And yet like Icarus I hide
And pretend I can fly
But I don’t want to wait to die
To uncover the lies
I want to live an authentic life

Because that creates a depth you don’t see
On reality TV

What if they videotaped your life?
What character would you play?
A villian or a hero?
Because you’re never neutral zero

When we’re living in a world
Where people are killing
And oil is spilling
And girls are bought and sold for thrilling
But it’s never fulfilling
Because stomachs still need filling
And hope still needs willing
It’s love we should be drilling

Because that’s an energy source that never runs out

It jump starts the the heart
And heals parts polluted
Protects truths refuted
Resolves issues disputed
And discerns deeds diluted

Even when it creates exhaust
It’s worth the cost

Because this love is not just spiritual
But it’s physically empirical
So let’s celebrate the miracle
Of the message in this lyrical

That the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it
And He can take this ball of clay and spin it
And there’s room to heal… if we just begin it

So let’s be remembered
By this world that we’re changing
In a positive light
As we’re rearranging
Draw a line in the sand
Before the land is estranging
From the oil on shore

Because you don’t become what you already are
But take the time to find the mind
That you become what you leave behind

In Liquid, we’re doing a 4 week series on the greatest commandments God ever gave us… to love God, to love others, and to love self. Our society and even the Christian religion sometimes give us unhealthy ideas of what this can look like.

Sometimes our love for God can either appear to be a list of rules and consequences or a one-time prayer rather than a fluid relationship.
Sometimes our love for others can be distorted or misrepresented, leading us to damaging friendships and relationships, sex out of true context, war, and ultimately bitter loneliness.
Sometimes our love for selves can manifest as pride or twist into competition, cutting, eating disorders, and other failed attempts at trying to make ourselves “better”.
In a world where sports stars, movie stars, and pastors cheating on their wives or husbands is a normal publication,
where divorce is more frequent than life-long marriage,
where you can’t sit in a room of more than 20 people and one of them hasn’t suffered some sort of sexual or physical abuse from a parent or relative,
where a show like The Bachelor is not only popular, but thought of as a dream or an ideal,
and where we haven’t seen a decade in hundreds of years without a major war,
we start to wonder whether love is even real anymore, or if it was just some sort of romantic myth. And if it is real, what is it? What would it even look like to see it? We’ve all but lost the idea of love in our schools, governments, families, and selves, and I believe, like many concepts, there is always a root, or heart, issue.
As early as grade school, we are taught things like the “Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And in Sunday school, we learn, “Love others as you love yourself.” So we understand that unless you know how you yourself should be treated or loved, you won’t be able to understand how that is actualized in your treatment of others. You can’t simply love out unless you love in. And I would take a further step back to say that unless you can really figure out how to love God (the only one entirely deserving of our love), then there is no way that we could be able to embrace the image of Him within us, and thus the image of Him in others.
And how could we possibly understand how to love God without looking to Him as the example and exploring how he has lavishly loved us with creativity, beauty, and sacrifice.
How does nature speak to God’s love for you? How does Christ’s death speak to God’s love for you? How does the Spirit living inside of you attest to God’s love for you? How does God’s provision, hope, Word, and purpose for you tell you that this crazy little thing called love actually and incarnationally exists?
What is your response?
This is how you love God. And this is the beginning of the chain of a love revolution in your world.

In Liquid, we’ve been looking at the life of Christ and discovering the relevance to the lives of our middle schoolers. So often, we view his life as something so distant, but it is really very tangible and available and relevant. Last week, we dove into the topic of evangelism and we different methods that people use to spread forth the “good news”. We found 7 different modes of evangelism using the 3 tools that God provided for us to spread his message.

The Three Tools:
Your Lips – (Luke 4:14-22; John 8:12-25) We don’t mean this in a makey-outy sort of way, like dating evangelism… but rather God did give us the ability of speech to communicate the Gospel to either rebuke sin or tell the story of salvation.
Your Life – (Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 27:54) You are a light to the world and your life shines bright of the witness of God’s power for change.
Your Love – (John 13:1-17) If God is love, how else can we reveal Him but to show love ourselves? They will know we are Christians by our love.
The 7 Modes:
Street Corner Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the lips as a tool God has given us. Vocal proclamation is the only resource, and you can often find these evangelists with bull-horns or passing out tracts.
Moral Compass Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the life as a tool God has given us. If others merely see our lives and how we live morally differently from the rest of the world, then maybe they will be curious enough to desire change. This method is often used as a backlash for fear of becoming the Street Corner Evangelist.
Hippie Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the love as a tool God has given us. Free love is the full message. God lavished his love freely on us, so we ought to do the same. Morality and truth are unnecessary as long as love is the end result.
Testimonial Evangelism: This method uses both your lips and your life. This is essentially how your story connects with God’s story. You share how you used to be, how God interceded, and how your life has changed since then.
Servant Evangelism: This method uses both your life and your love. In service, you care for the “least of these” and recognize them as the very presence of Jesus in your life. By becoming a servant like Christ (Philippians 2), you reveal the presence of the Kingdom of God in a real and physical way.
Counseling Evangelism: This method uses both your love and your lips. While counseling, you offer sound advice and comfort to those who are mourning or in need of some sort of discernment. By being present in one’s life, you invest in people on an emotional and spiritual level, which provides the “good news” in a time when it is needed most.
Discipleship Evangelism: This method combines your lips, your life, and your love in a way that strips away techniques and reveals that evangelism is a sacrifice of life itself. Evangelism becomes less something that you do and it becomes integrated into your life so that it becomes all you do. In discipleship evangelism, you walk alongside another in all aspects of life and reveal the Kingdom in each aspect of your life. Though Christ definitely revealed his ministry in the previous 6 modes, they were all manifested and actualized under the umbrella of discipleship, where Jesus took 12 young men and invested in them to the point that they could radically change the world.
All fellow believers have been given the gifts of our lips, life and love to move in powerful ways for the Kingdom. This isn’t something left for the professionals. It’s a call for us all.
I would say that none of these methods are necessarily invalid. Though I do believe some of these can be rather abrasive and often create more harm than good, I have seen the Spirit move in each of these methods to bring people to Christ. With that being said, however, I believe it is especially important to once again look to the life of Christ as our example evangelist.
We have good news. We have been brought from death to life, and we have a mission of healing and redemption to this world. What a beautiful task.
> shalom